Kind and number?


Hello. I am going to make a general confession and i know the church states that all sins must be told in kind and number; thing is i honeslty have no idea the number of times i have commited ANY of my sins. How does the church expect you to keep a track on the number of times you sinned in the past. So if i cant tell the priest the number of times does this mean that the confession is invalid. If so it just doesnt make sense. Please shed some light for me.

God Bless


When making a general confession, you should have an appointment with the priest and make sure he knows it has been a long time since your last confession. In this case, you can’t really expect to remember everything. Ask the priest for help and he will be more than happy to guide you. What I did was state the sin and tell him I was unsure how many times EXACTLY I had done such and such. But you could give an estimate. I did this __________ several times over _________ years, etc. Hope this helps. Good luck with your confession and may the Holy Spirit guide you.


Helpful phrases for you: Once a week for two years, several times a day for the last month, almost every day from the time I was about 10 until I was 18. All you need is a good faith estimate.

You should, however, be able to remember the exact number of really big ones - murders, bank robberies, remarriages without annulments, etc. :wink:



I agree that you should make an appointment for a general confession or confession after you have been away from the sacrament for a long time.

As for the number of times–you can estimate, it never has to be exact. So for example, “I gossiped about co-workers 3x a week.” It it is a sin you committed only during a specifc time period, then you can say that. “For 3 years, I falsified my expense vouchers every month.”

The priest will help you by asking questions about what you say, or by asking you about specifc sins you may not have mentioned. For example, it is common for priests to ask about sins against the 6th commandement.


Thanks for your help

God bless


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